Poundland will open stores in up to 20 former Poundworld locations following its rival’s demise.

The value chain is finalising plans to open stores on the sites and will add its fashion offer, Pep & Co, to the mix in eight of the new sites, which are set to open in October.

The move is expected to create 400 jobs. All former Poundworld staff have been guaranteed interviews.

Poundworld entered administration in June and shut its doors for the final time last month.

UK and Ireland boss Barry Williams said: “We’re trading strongly and stores with a Pep & Co fashion store are a hit with customers. That’s why we’re keen to find larger sites that enable us to bring our widest ranges to more high streets across the country.”

In an attack on landlords, he added: “We can only [expand] if landlords really change their expectations about the total cost of occupation to reflect the new realities of UK retail.”

The value retailer’s last year has been overshadowed by allegations of accounting fraud at its former group parent company Steinhoff, which led to the resignation of its chief executive.

Despite this, it traded reasonably well during its last reporting period, notching up a 2.4% increase in like-for-likes in the period to March 31. EBITDA at its parent company Pepkor Europe advanced 28% to €128m.